Saturday, 19 January 2008
Following on from the discussion at the Landscapist about apparently random photography, I've been looking at (and comparing) quite a number of landscape photographs. I've been looking at the distinctions between the traditionally composed images, especially "Grand Scenic", and more intimate work. Some of the latter has a distinctly composed feel, some has that air of randomness.
What this came to was thought on what made the seemingly random into good photography (there's also a lot of really random rubbish). For me it came down to a balance of elements with no distractions. let me explain. Often when I look at photographs, my own included, I see distracting elements, especially around the edges that draw the eye away from the subject. Removal of these is central to my cropping philosophy. The good shots have an even balance. there is also, though, a distribution of large and small elements, lines that lead this way and that and a depth to the subjects that passes beyond mere foreground-background or careful layers.
This balance of elements - the lack of distraction, the large and small and a sense of depth - are then, for me, the things that make the seemingly random into good photography. Of course, to produce such work consistently (I'm ignoring the luck shot) requires a good eye for detail and careful though about composition. Just like any other good photography.
This working of these elements into good images is what I have dubbed "considered randomness". It is, for me, one of the strongest yet hardest to create forms of photography.